Final Word, Instant Replay, Sports Sunday: Critiquing 'em all

Final Word, Instant Replay, Sports Sunday: Critiquing 'em all

Sundays are wonderful in that you get the national political talking head shows in the morning and the local sports talking head shows at night. I've been watching the three Chicago sports news/pundit shows all my life. However, I must begin this analysis by stating that these shows are not produced with me in mind. And rightfully so.

I'm a huge sports media nerd. I'm a Twitter geek. I work in the sports media industry.

So most of what they're going to say I was already made aware of many hours ago. And most of what I consume, sports media wise, is extremely detailed and niche.  These shows, by contrast, are geared towards your normal everyday sports fan. As they should be. That's what works and what sells.

Currently, I myself am more interested in: an NFL mock draft with player descriptions, 1,000+ words on who the Blackhawks should start at goaltender for the NHL postseason or something that has fun with Illini football coach Tim Beckman.



Or anything Illini related. Ever. If you report on Illinois basketball, chances are I’ll read/watch/listen. Now that we have that bias out of the way, let’s move on to the review.

WGN Ch 9 Instant Replay 9:40-10

I chose to do this in April, the busiest sports month, for a reason. The Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks are all in regular season action. And the Bears are preparing for the NFL Draft. Rich King led with coverage of the Masters. Golf is as unwatchable as soccer. And soccer is as interesting to me as hearing about how your fantasy football team or your bracket is doing.

King mentioned the Tiger Woods thing and they showed Adam Scott, the Masters champion. But it’s golf so I don’t care. Or as Jay Cutler famously said "DON'T CARE!"

Luckily, this guy does and keeps me informed. Thankfully, the golf portion of the show was short and they moved on to the Blackhawks and the Bulls loss to the Heat very quickly. Then King gave us this:

“finds Lebron for the slamo”

uhm, yeah.

Then we’re told that Michigan Wolverines star and national player of the year Trey Burke declared for the NBA Draft. Which Yahoo told us about Saturday morning. So thank for you for that just BREAKING NEWS!!!!

Which all knew was going to happen anyway.

And it all reminds me of this rule from our college basketball national championship drinking game:

If it’s mentioned that Trey Burke pretty much swept every major college basketball award.....

So if you’re still playing our drinking game (and for your sake, I hope that you’re not) and you watched Instant Replay, bottoms up!

Then we got to the baseball portion of the show, but right now baseball is about as interesting to me as a Darren Rovell tweet. But ‘GN did give good coverage of the Cubs weird and wacky wild pitches. And there were some soundbites of Jake Peavy being all “grindy;” as he usually is.

After watching this show, I wanted my money back. Even though it was free.

(credit that critique phrase to High Gloss and Sauce)


WFLD Fox 32 "Final Word" 10-10:35

Marc Silverman is the co-host of WMVP’s Waddle and Silvy show on ESPN radio 1000. Here's my exclusive with him. He appeared on FW along with Dionne Miller and Barry Rozner. Tom Waddle, the usual co-host was out. Here’s a short version of Dionne Miller’s career biography.

Miller and Rozner wisely opened the show with the Blackhawks and went much more in depth than WGN. Then again, they also have 15 more minutes to work with than Instant Replay. This was good too.

Rozner: “You know why they call it golf, Dionne? Because the f-bomb was already taken.”

HAHAHHAHAHA. Thank you for putting golf third behind the Hawks and Bulls.

I think Final Word beat out both Instant Replay and Sports Sunday; very comfortably. And I’m not just saying that because they used Outkast's “Hey Ya” and Motley Crue's “Dr. Feelgood” as background music. Fox’s crew seems to be the liveliest and most informative of the bunch. Rozner had a few more humorous and snarky lines, and I found him rather entertaining. Silvy’s take on the Tiger Woods controversy was great too. Especially since the ex-husband of Lindsey Vonn tweeted claims that he was the one who tattled on Tiger.

And Silvy really knows his Bulls.

WMAQ NBC 5 "Sports Sunday" 10:30-11:05

What’s with all the GOLF COVERAGE??!! This show really took it up a notch. The way they blanketed Augusta National, I walked away thinking NBC was the Masters broadcast partner, not CBS. It was reminiscent of when WMAQ’s local news at 10 devoted more than half their show to Olympics opening ceremonies. Because people what network broadcasts the Olympics?

Ok, it wasn’t near that bad, but golf, really?

Even someone who looks like Holly Sonders can’t make me watch golf. Dan Roan had a segment on a Northwestern golfer on Instant Replay, and I DVRed straight through that. There’s only so much golf I can fast forward through!

Mike Adamle and Laurence Holmes anchored this program, so leading this post with the headshot of recent NBC 5 hire Rebecca Haarlow was false advertising on my part. Sorry.

But NBC succeeded in telling me something I don’t know. Not once but twice. They did the best job of the three programs in analyzing the Blackhawks goalie situation. And they mentioned that Doug Collins will step down as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers; despite having a year left on his deal. Let the speculation begin about the former Bulls coach joining his son Chris Collins at Northwestern begin!.

NBC put together a good show, minus all the golf stuff. But their team of on-air talent isn’t quite as witty or engaging as Fox’s team.


WGN’s IR is a shorter show with only one on-air personality, so they inevitably took the bronze in this competition. So it’s between Fox’s FW and NBC’s SS. Well, Fox broke down the likely Bulls vs. Pacers NBA playoff series in detail, the others didn't touch it. They didn't just report, they looked ahead too. For this, and other reasons they grab the gold, and it’s by a wide margin.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports He’s also an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter and Yardbarker

Banks has appeared on Comcast SportsNet and the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks)

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